In an open letter posted on her website addressed to the Attorney General of Kentucky, Beyoncé calls for justice to be served to the officers who shot Breonna Taylor.
Breonna Taylor was a 26-year old African-American emergency room technician who was killed while unarmed and asleep in the safety of her own home last March 13. In a report by The New York Times, the Louisville Metro Police Department was investigating two men who were allegedly selling drugs near Taylor’s home.
However, they had a “no-knock” warrant that allowed them to enter Taylor’s apartment and search the residence as they believed that the men they were looking for used her apartment to receive packages. In the confrontation, 20 shots were fired, eight of which hit Taylor.
In her letter, Beyoncé calls out the irony of passing “Breonna’s Law,” a law that bans no-knock search warrants, but not taking action against the officers who killed Taylor. She does recognize that it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s a small one as “there has still been no justice for Breonna Taylor or her family.”
She also listed down all the things that the justice system still has to account for, such as the claims that Taylor suffered no injuries when evidence says she was shot at least eight times, as well as the continued employment of the police officers involved in the shooting.
She hopes that the case will not fall into the usual pattern of inaction. The letter continues, “With every death of a black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it.”
Beyoncé ends the letter with a call to action for the justice system to be responsible and accountable in handling the Taylor case. “This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.”
The death of George Floyd has launched a round of protests and calls for justice for the murders of African-American individuals in the United States. Breonna Taylor’s case has now become another rallying point for the black community to fight against systemic racism, selective justice and police brutality.
In an interview with The Lousiville Courier Journal, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer said, “She had a whole plan on becoming a nurse and buying a house and then starting a family.” A lot of people who know Taylor have also gone on to say that she was incredibly excited about the year 2020, even tweeting her plans of spending Christmas with her family. Palmer continued, “Breonna had her head on straight, and she was a very decent person. She didn’t deserve this. She wasn’t that type of person.”
Screengrab from the “Formation” official music video